Tuesday, February 17, 2009

new old boat

This past weekend our new boat arrived in the mail. We figured out some time back that we need a folding kayak for our upcoming Alaska trip. When in Wragnell AK a couple years back we borrowed one of these from Dr. McCandlis and it was really fabulous.

After searching ebay for weeks we found an old abandoned boat in Millerville PA, the home of Christine's former grandmother. We won the auction and on Friday evening the boat arrived in 3 boxes. I spent the night cleaning and assembling a boat that had clearly been in storage for 20 plus years.

As it turns out two person Klepper has been making kayaks for nearly 90 years and they also convert to a sailing craft that can sail upwind! We do not currently have the sail as there are more immediate things to attend to. It turns out that Matilda (named in honor of Christine's gMa) is from the 60's. This means that the bottom of the canvas hull is coated in vulcanized rubber. This is one design flaw that has been corrected over the years, they are now coated in hyperlon.

After figuring out how to assemble a boat (with out instructions!, although we found the original instructions on line) Matilda was ready for a fresh water test. This Klepper Aerius is a boat that has been taken across the Atlantic ocean and around the Arctic and Antarctic pole's, so it is certainly a sea worthy craft. Without a spray skirt and no clear idea of if this boat floated/leaked etc. we took it to some calm inland waters and paddled up a stream. It worked great and now I have a project boat!

The frame inside the canvas hull.

The assembly process.


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